May 22, 2022

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3 Personal Loan Lenders To Consider If You Don’t Have A Credit Score

Select’s editorial team works independently to review financial products and write articles we think our readers will find useful. We may receive a commission when you click on links for products from our affiliate partners.

Personal loans have become known as a versatile and quick way to cover large expenses upfront. There are many things you can use a personal loan for, including a wedding, a funeral, a home renovation, debt consolidation or a big emergency. These events can costs tens of thousands of dollars, and sometimes while you may have some money stashed away in savings, it may not be enough to cover the entire cost. That’s where personal loans come in.

Just like with any other form of credit, personal loan lenders will typically want to measure the creditworthiness of applicants by looking at their credit scores and credit history. This can present a problem if you don’t have a sufficient credit history. For example, if you’re a recent graduate, you probably don’t have enough credit history built up yet to have a credit score. Or, if you’ve been avoiding getting a credit card or any other form of debt, you probably have a low (or no) credit score.

Fortunately, though, some personal loan lenders can still consider such applicants.

Select rounded up some personal loan lenders that may still approve applicants who don’t have a sufficient enough credit history to generate a credit score. We looked at key factors like interest rates, fees, loan amounts and term lengths offered, plus other features including how your funds are distributed, autopay discounts, customer service and how fast you can get your funds. (Read more about our methodology below.)

Select’s picks for the best personal loans if you have an insufficient credit history

Compare offers to find the best loan

Editorial note: The tool is provided and powered by Even Financial, a search and comparison engine that matches you with third-party lenders. Any information you provide is given directly to Even Financial. Select does not have access to any data you provide. Select may receive an affiliate commission from partner offers in the Even Financial tool. The commission does not influence the selection in order of offers.

Best overall

SoFi Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    5.74% to 20.28% when you sign up for autopay

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation/refinancing, home improvement, relocation assistance or medical expenses

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

Pros

  • No origination fees, no early payoff fees, no late fees
  • Unemployment protection if you lose your job
  • DACA recipients can apply with a creditworthy co-borrower who is a U.S. citizen/permanent resident by calling 877-936-2269
  • Can have more than one SoFi loan at a time (state-permitting) 
  • May accept offer of employment (to start within the next 90 days) as proof of income
  • Co-applicants may apply

Cons

  • Applicants who are U.S. visa holders must have more than two years remaining on visa to be eligible
  • No co-signers allowed (co-applicants only)

Who’s this for? While SoFi generally accepts good or excellent credit for its personal loan products, borrowers can apply for a loan using a co-applicant. A co-applicant can be beneficial for someone who has damaged or poor credit or a credit history that’s so insufficient that they likely may not be approved for the loan if they applied alone. An ideal co-applicant will have a higher credit score and higher income. These attributes tell lenders that the borrowers are more likely to be able to afford to repay the loan. The co-applicant is also financially on the hook for repaying the loan if the other co-applicant fails to make payments.

SoFi doesn’t charge any origination fees, late fees, or early payoff fees. And, you can borrow between $5,000 to $100,000, which makes SoFi an attractive option for people who need to borrow larger amounts for bigger expenses.

You can get your loan funded the same day, or the next business day, providing you don’t need to apply with additional information. Plus, when you sign up for a SoFi Personal Loan, you can join its membership platform to take advantage of a host of other perks like career counseling, financial advising and more.

Best for borrowing small amounts

Upstart Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, home improvement, wedding, moving or medical

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

    FICO or Vantage score of 600 (but will accept applicants whose credit history is so insufficient they don’t have a credit score)

  • Origination fee

    0% to 8% of the target amount

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

    The greater of 5% of monthly past due amount or $15

Pros

  • Open to borrowers with fair credit (minimum 600 score)
  • Will accept applicants who have insufficient credit history and don’t have a credit score
  • No early payoff fees
  • 99% of personal loan funds are sent the next business day after completing required paperwork before 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

Cons

  • High late fees
  • Origination fee of 0% to 8% of the target amount (automatically withheld from the loan before it’s delivered to you)
  • $10 fee to request paper copies of loan agreement (no fee for eSigned virtual copies)
  • Must have a social security number

Who’s this for? Upstart usually approves applicants with a FICO score of 600 or higher, but this lender also accepts applicants with no credit history, making it a good choice for someone who needs to borrow a larger amount of money but doesn’t have sufficient credit history. Just keep in mind that if you are approved for the loan with a lower (or no) credit score, you may be subject to a higher interest rate.

You can apply for loan amounts as low as $1,000 and as much as $50,000. The $1,000 minimum makes the loan feel a little more accessible for those who don’t need to borrow too much money. It’s generally best to only apply for what you’ll need since borrowing more will result in higher monthly payments.

And while there are no penalties for paying off your balance early, Upstart does charge an origination fee (up to 8% of the amount you borrow) and late fees ($15 or 5% of the past due balance, whichever is greater).

When it comes to repaying the balance, loan terms range from 36 to 60 months, which can be appealing to borrowers who think they may need a longer time horizon to repay the entire loan.

Best for flexible terms

OneMain Financial Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, major expenses, emergency costs

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

    Flat fee starting at $25 to $500 or percentage ranging from 1% to 10% (depends on your state)

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

    Up to $30 per late payment or up to 15% (depends on your state)

Pros

  • Approves applicants with bad or fair credit
  • No early payoff fees
  • Reasonable loan minimums ($1,500) for smaller needs
  • Can pre-qualify with a soft credit check (no hard inquiry right away)
  • ACH funding within 1-2 business days (sometimes same day with proper paperwork)
  • Option to apply for secured loan (with collateral) for potentially lower rates
  • Borrowers can choose the date the bill is due each month
  • Applicants may apply with a co-applicant or, if married, may apply for a loan separately from spouse

Cons

  • High origination fee
  • High interest rates
  • No autopay APR discount
  • No co-signers

Information about OneMain Financial’s secured loans:

While not required, applicants who don’t qualify for an unsecured personal loan with OneMain Financial may be offered a secured loan. A secured loan lets borrowers who want to use the equity from their car potentially qualify for lower interest that way. Rates, repayment terms and agreements vary by individual and the state in which apply. Learn more by checking for offers on OneMain Financial’s site.

OneMain Financial link provided by Even Financial.

OneMain Financial consumer loans are offered in 44 states (we do not lend in AK, AR, CT, DC, MA, RI, and VT). Loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z such as college, university or vocational expense; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase securities; or for gambling or illegal purposes.

Example loan: A $6,000 loan with a 24.99% APR that is repayable in 60 monthly installments would have monthly payments of $176.07.

Additional conditions for secured offers: Secured offers require a first lien on a motor vehicle that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. The lender places a lien on the collateral until the loan is paid in full. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered by the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral.

Funding options; availability of funds: Loan proceeds may be disbursed by check or electronically deposited to the borrower’s bank account through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) or debit card (SpeedFunds) networks. ACH funds are available approximately 1 to 2 business days after the loan closing date. Funds through SpeedFunds can be accessed on the loan closing date by using a bank-issued debit card.

Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600.

Borrowers (other than present customers) in these states are subject to these maximum unsecured loan sizes: North Carolina: $7,500.

Who’s this for? OneMain Financial offers loan options that are much less rigid compared to other lenders. Borrowers can take advantage of repayment terms between 24 months and 60 months. This lender generally approves applicants with at least a poor or fair credit score but, like SoFi, you may be able to get a co-applicant on board to improve your chances of approval if you have insufficient credit history.

Another thing that makes this lender a little more flexible is the ability to secure your loan with collateral. Personal loans are generally unsecured. But with secured loans, a borrower essentially uses another asset as a “promise” that if they fail to repay their loan in full, the lender can seize that asset from them as collateral. Not only does OneMain Financial give you this option, but doing so also lets you potentially receive an even lower interest rate. Plus, borrowers can actually choose the date their monthly payments are due.

The origination fee is on the higher end: either a fixed fee between $25 and $500 or up to 10% of the loan amount, depending on which state you live in. And while there aren’t any penalties for paying off the loan early, there is a late fee that will run you $30 or up to 15% (depending on your state).

Our methodology

To determine which personal loans are the best, Select analyzed dozens of U.S. personal loans offered by both online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions, that come with no origination or signup fees, fixed-rate APRs and flexible loan amounts and terms to suit an array of financing needs.

When narrowing down and ranking the best personal loans for fair or good credit, we focused on the following features:

  • Fixed-rate APR: Variable rates can go up and down over the lifetime of your loan. With a fixed rate APR, you lock in an interest rate for the duration of the loan’s term, which means your monthly payment won’t vary, making your budget easier to plan.
  • Flexible minimum and maximum loan amounts/terms: Each lender provides a variety of financing options that you can customize based on your monthly budget and how long you need to pay back your loan.
  • No early payoff penalties: The lenders on our list do not charge borrowers for paying off loans early.
  • Streamlined application process: We considered whether lenders offered same-day approval decisions and a fast online application process. 
  • Customer support: Every loan on our list provides customer service available via telephone, email or secure online messaging. We also opted for lenders with an online resource hub or advice center to help you educate yourself about the personal loan process and your finances.
  • Fund disbursement: The loans on our list deliver funds promptly through either electronic wire transfer to your checking account or in the form of a paper check. Some lenders (which we noted) offer the ability to pay your creditors directly.
  • Autopay discounts: We noted the lenders that reward you for enrolling in autopay by lowering your APR by 0.25% to 0.5%.
  • Creditor payment limits and loan sizes: The above lenders provide loans in an array of sizes, from $500 to $100,000. Each lender advertises its respective payment limits and loan sizes, and completing a preapproval process can give you an idea of what your interest rate and monthly payment would be for such an amount.

After reviewing the above features, we sorted our recommendations by best for overall financing needs, quick funding, lower interest rates and flexible terms.

Note that the rates and fee structures advertised for personal loans are subject to fluctuate in accordance with the Fed rate. However, once you accept your loan agreement, a fixed-rate APR will guarantee interest rate and monthly payment will remain consistent throughout the entire term of the loan. Your APR, monthly payment and loan amount depend on your credit history and creditworthiness. To take out a loan, lenders will conduct a hard credit inquiry and request a full application, which could require proof of income, identity verification, proof of address and more. 

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.